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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voigt Carries the Film
When I watched Anaconda I was surprised that it was better than I expected. Part of the reason for that was the performance given by John Voigt.
A film crew is traveling the Amazon in search of the elusive People of the Mist. On the way the rescue Voigt from a stranded ship. Voigt is a snake catcher and claims he knows where the People of the Mist can be found...
Published on July 14, 2004 by Joshua Koppel

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch alone. Don't eat during this.
After originally seeing the second first, and then borrowing the superbit of this to watch, I'm actually glad I did it that way. That way, I didn't have to compare the sequel to the original if I'd seen it the right way round. Despite reading other reviewers bad reviews, I quite liked it. It dragged a bit in the middle, but the cast were excellent.

With stars...
Published on January 13, 2005 by Meesha


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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch alone. Don't eat during this., January 13, 2005
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
After originally seeing the second first, and then borrowing the superbit of this to watch, I'm actually glad I did it that way. That way, I didn't have to compare the sequel to the original if I'd seen it the right way round. Despite reading other reviewers bad reviews, I quite liked it. It dragged a bit in the middle, but the cast were excellent.

With stars like Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Owen Wilson, Jon Voight, Ice Cube and the fabulous Jonathan Hyde, it worked. Some of the plotlines were only hinted at, and could have been expanded if it had been rated a 15 or an 18. (Particularly the 'love' story between J-Lo & Eric - there seemed to be stuff missing from that whole sub-plot.) I loved how Jennifer (as she now wishes to be known) looked in this movie - the hair was naturally curly, and really nice, rather than straightened within an inch of its life. If you compare her here, to now, you'll notice she's become very Hollywood over the last few years. The hair's blonder, and she's skinnier too - and has noticeably given her Latino roots up. I didn't like Jon Voight's character very much - I found why he did what he did was never really explained, and one of his final scenes will either make what you're eating get thrown in the air, or you'll choke on it. Plus, he had a really dodgy Steven Segal-esque ponytail. Ugh. Most particularly, I loved Jonathan Hyde. I've never liked him much in the other movies I've seen him in (Dr Allen Chamberlain in The Mummy, and J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic - I didn't even realise it was the same actor from the latter!), but his character in this was really nice, and even funny.

Although some of the CGI snake scenes were slightly dodgy, especially when they spun their victims in the air - if they were still, it wasn't that bad - they were still good, and effective scenes. They were just as cute as they were in the sequel, and had lovely big eyes. I was particularly impressed with the detail that went into the close up shots, and a shot near the end, of a character (I won't ruin it) getting swallowed whole, and the camera actually appears to be inside the anaconda. Very funky - although a little too pink.

Eric Stoltz seemed to have an easy ride during the movie, as he spent most of the movie in bed, after receiving a quick, probably not very well done, tracheotomy.

This probably isn't the best movie for hard-core, serious moviegoers to see - they'll rip it to shreds, rather than just appreciate it. And what guy is not going to want to see Jennifer bra-less and running around soaking wet, and screaming her head off? Probably the same guy who doesn't want to see Elektra, with a very lovely Jennifer Garner, going commando. I liked this movie. The sequel was slightly better, darker, but similar in some points.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight fun with gruesome deaths, September 1, 2006
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
The plot is thinner than a Kleenex, J-Lo attempts to play an (unusually gorgeous and well-dressed) aspiring film student who, with her tough-but-lovable assistant Ice Cube, somehow find themselves on a barge along with a few other ditzy Hollywood stereotypical characters, including an over-the-top Englishman, heading up some remarkably bug-free Amazon tributary to film a documentary.

As fate would have it, they happen upon Jon Voight's character (Jon Voight! Is that really him?!), who A) blows the other actors off the screen B) is a genuinely creepy psychotic presence. They "rescue" him from his stranded boat.

There are brief flashes of brilliance in this story, but they are paved over by the horsey acting from all parties excepting Mr. Voight and Mr. Cube. Jon Voight is terrific, and Ice Cube is playing himself. Who cast this mess? J-Lo's famous shape is displayed, nay, showcased, in at least half a dozen scenes. The movie is beautifully photographed, which makes the near-total lack of a believable story unfortunate, and the absurd ending, complete with the 100% anticipated surprise ending, leaves you yawning. By 2006 standards the special effects seem quaint.

Watch it for the cinematography and Jon Voight. And J-Lo's delectable corpus. Cute boobs and a sensational rear end, I must say.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray: A barebones Blu-ray release, no special features, picture quality lacks detail, audio is a positive!, June 3, 2009
This review is from: Anaconda [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In 1997, a film based on one of the largest snakes in the world was made to a horror film. Directed by Luis Llosa who has shot many films in Peru, `Anaconda' was a film that was written by Hans Bauer ("Titan A.E") and Jim Cash ("Dick Tracy", "Top Gun" and "Turner & Hooch") and the film despite having many negative reviews, did pretty well in box office receipts, taking in over a $136 million worldwide.

The film would also star talent which would be considered today as top tier names, at the time the film would star singer/actress Jennifer Lopez ("Jersey Girl", "The Wedding Planner", "Maid in Manhattan"), hip hop artist and actor Ice Cube ("xXx: State of the Union", "Menace II Society", "New Jack City"), Jon Voight ("Transformers", "24', "Ali", "Pearl Harbor"), Eric Stoltz ("The Rules of Attraction", "Medium", "Grey's Anatomy"), Jonathan Hyde ("Titanic", "The Mummy"), Owen Wilson ("Cars", "Marley & Me", "Shanghai Knights") and Kahri Wuhrer ("The Air I Breathe", "Spider's Web").

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"Anaconda" is presented in 1080p High Definition (with an aspect ratio of 2:40:1). The film looks good at times (sunlight, outdoor scenes) but then starts to have this soft look in many other areas. Because they are in the middle of the Amazon, I was expecting to see skin pores, grime but it appears this film exhibits some major DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) that prevents the film from being vibrant or alive. The faces look waxy and the film looks to clean and soft for its own good. Overall, picture quality is still much better than the original DVD. There is details you can see from the trees and the boat and the crew's surroundings.

As for the audio, audio for "Anaconda" is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and I have to say that I was very impressed by the amount of audio being utilized during the anaconda and action scenes. Also, a few times where the subwoofer is utilized for the low frequency bass. Great use of panning of audio swishing from left to right and awesome use of ambient sounds from the Amazon forest as I saw a lot of use on my rear (centers) and my front channels. The Amazon forest really does come alive through the soundtrack but I will say that I didn't really hear much coming from my rear (surrounds) via my 7.2 setup. Dialogue is clear and overall, "Anaconda" on Blu-ray's highlight is its audio soundtrack.

As for subtitles, the film is presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

"Anaconda" has no special features but Sony Home Entertainment trailers.

JUDGMENT CALL:

Watching "Anaconda" again, 12 years later, it's surprising to see how many well-known talents were involved in this film (of course, this is earlier work for many of them) and also surprising it was to see John Voight in an action role as hunter and doing a great job playing a villain sporting some major action scenes.

Unfortunately, what the film is lacking is a strong story where characters are not used effectively. Eric Stoltz who I thought would have a big role in the film is pretty much incapacitated throughout the film. And John Voight was like a super soldier who just gets away with too much.

Other talents, especially Ice Cube is not utilized all that well. And of course, the acting was OK. Granted, this film was released back in 1997 and considered early work for a lot of these talents who tend to have found their acting groove years later.

But "Anaconda" is a decent popcorn action/horror flick that does its job of entertaining the viewer. As long as one doesn't come with high expectations, the film does its job to entertain and the Blu-ray release definitely does a great job in bringing the sounds of the Amazon and the anaconda right to your living room. But I do find the barebones release on Blu-ray without any special features to be quite disappointing. It would have been great to hear an audio commentary track or even behind-the-scenes of the making of the film.

Overall, "Anaconda" definitely is much better than its DVD counterpart and for fans of the film, the High Definition transfer may be worth the double dip.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voigt Carries the Film, July 14, 2004
By 
Joshua Koppel (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
When I watched Anaconda I was surprised that it was better than I expected. Part of the reason for that was the performance given by John Voigt.
A film crew is traveling the Amazon in search of the elusive People of the Mist. On the way the rescue Voigt from a stranded ship. Voigt is a snake catcher and claims he knows where the People of the Mist can be found. In reality he is trying to lead them into anaconda territory where he hopes to catch a live specimen and make a fortune. Finally the truth comes out, as do the snakes and it becomes a battle between man and beast as well as between man and man. In the end the survivors prepare to return to their ruined careers when they stumble across the People of the Mist.
John Voigt gave an excellent performance as a Paraguayan snake catcher (Paraguayan so as no one can tell if the accent is right). John shows off a physique that shows why he was chosen to play gigolos and boxers. I did not care too much for the black cameraman. He seemed to be one great big stereotype, so city bred he can't believe that fish live in water. The only other flaw with the film is the way the snake moves. Anacondas are strong but they can not support their entire weight on the tip of their tail. It also moved faster than a striking rattlesnake. Oh well, I still really enjoyed the movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "That's it, man. I'm gettin' the hell back to L.A.", September 10, 2010
By 
H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
"This film was supposed to be my big break... but it turned out to be a big disaster." Back in 1997, when this film came out, you just had to chuckle when Jennifer Lopez's character said this so plaintively. JLo was still fairly new to the film industry at the time, you see, and there were doubts... Now, looking back, it turns out Jennifer's had a pretty good run at a Hollywood career.

ANACONDA follows the spoor of ARACHNOPHOBIA but predates SNAKES ON A PLANE, but all three of these creature features exude that same sense of camp and cheese, and they are all of them a lot of fun. The plot to ANACONDA revolves around an American expedition wending its creaky way down the Amazon river, this decrepit river boat ferrying a documentary crew intent on capturing on film this mysterious lost tribe. What are the odds that these folks get sidetracked?

The anaconda is the most terrifying predator in the Amazon jungle, or so this film proclaims. Anacondas can grow up to forty feet long and they "will regurgitate their prey in order to kill and eat again" - which is just really messed up. Except that when I read that bit at the start of the movie, I couldn't wait to see it happen (oh, it happens). And yet the horror show starts even before the anaconda monster slithers on camera and cracks the bones of its first victim. The real villain of this piece is this diabolical Paraguayan by name of Paul Sarone (Jon Voight, really slimy), and the worst thing the river boat crew does is to pick up this sneery stranded hombre. You want to talk about a snake in the grass, you talk about Sarone, failed priest and current reptile wrangler. Raise your hand if you think he's harboring a hidden nasty agenda?

Jennifer Lopez heads up the cast as documentary film director Terri Flores, and, for me, part of the draw is in watching her and Ice Cube - two hip denizens of the urban sprawl - trying to cope in this deadly fish-out-of-water setting. The movie, shot in Brazil and demonstrating excellent cinematography, does well in evoking that sense of peril just lurking out of sight, in the steamy jungles, in the dank waters... and then there's "the little catfish that swims up through your urethra, finds a nice warm spot, and spreads its thorny little spines.'' Oh hell no.

Ice Cube, by the way, plays Danny the cinematographer, and he is likable from the get-go. I even enjoyed that bit of self-indulgence in which we catch Cube's character chillin' to an Ice Cube song. ANACONDA is peopled with a cast diverse enough that I never did get bored watching whomever was on screen. I'm not a big fan of Eric Stoltz, so it's probably for the best that he spends most of the film in a coma with a hole in his throat. Other familiar faces backing up our newbie actors are Owen Wilson and a Danny Trejo surprisingly without facial hair.

What this is is a throwback to those fun old B-movie adventures. ANACONDA bubbles over with high spirits and a tongue-in-cheek sensibility, or that's the sense I get, anyway. There are several spiffy kill scenes and visual effects that aren't that shabby, the anaconda itself either computer generated or rendered in animatronics, and looking mostly believable. There's even a cool anaconda's POV shot as one victim slides down its gullet. Acting-wise, it's not surprising that Jon Voight overshadows everyone. It's just fun watching him preach his sinister gospel of the jungle. A masterful scene stealer to the very end, Voight makes the most of his memorable death scene. He even gets to conduct a wicked piece of emergency on-site tracheotomy. Because when you mess around in the Amazon, not only can you get crushed by anacondas, or have parasitic candiru swim up your wang, or get a hole punched into your throat by a crazy Paraguayan... um, I don't really know where I'm going with this. But I like this movie which is bad and campy and, well, quite terrific.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not as bad as everyone says it is., March 17, 2001
By 
Joseph Lefeber (Fond du Lac, WI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
There is no way that this is the best movie ever, nor is it the worst. I don't understand why so many people are down on this movie. It has a lot of action, and is pretty suspenseful, granted there are better movies out there, but this is a very good one in its own right.
A boat full of people are making a documentary about a lost South American tribe. The group happens upon a skitsofrenic who is oppsesed with capturing this gigantic snake. He eventually takes over the boat. This leads up until the very end: a showdown between Jenifer Lopez, a giant snake, and Jon Voight.
Don't let anyone fool you, this is a very good movie, not the best, but still very good. You would be well advised to give this movie the benifit of the doubt.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anaconda, September 26, 2002
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
A group of filmmakers looking for a lost native tribe instead finds a man-eating monster in this thriller. Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez) is a documentary filmmaker on assignment to make a film about the Shirishama Indians of the Amazon, a mysterious tribe known as "The People of the Mists." As Terri and her crew - cameraman Danny Rich (Ice Cube), sound engineer Gary Dixon (Owen Wilson), anthropologist Steve Cale (Eric Stoltz), production manager Denise Kahlberg (Kari Wuhrer), and host Warren Westridge (Jonathan Hyde) - head down the river, they discover a man whose boat has sunk and desperately needs rescue. Paul Sarone (Jon Voight), the mysterious stranger that they save from the waters, claims to know something of the Shirishama and says he will take the crew to them. Instead, he guides the group to the hiding place of the fearsome Anaconda, a gigantic snake that swallows a man whole, vomits him up, and eats him again. The snake is worth a fortune if captured, but its not going to go without a fight.

Among the film's many delights are laughable dialogue and cheap shock thrills (so many objects leap out at viewers unexpectedly, you would think the picture was filmed in 3D). All of these elements keep the film's energy up as the body count predictably mounts. The anaconda itself is a supernaturally gifted critter with the ability to swallow a man whole, yet still maintains the fitness to move at the speed of lightning. Stalking its prey, the snake switches back and forth between a CG Loch Ness Monster to what seems to be a length of over-sized garden hose. Then there's Voight as a Great White Hunter with a marble-mouthed accent. Voight knows how bad the script is here and just sinks his fangs into a juicy, sleazy, horny, greedy character. This flick is trash, but it's fun trash.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent B-level movie, April 3, 2000
By 
Thorn "thornsilver" (Forest Hills, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anaconda [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie has very nice special effects and even a semblance of the plot. I was marginally impressed (but then again, the Amazon jungle is enough to scare me silly, even without nutcases and huge man eating snakes). Not a keeper, unless you are a horror movie fanatic, but worth watching. Once.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars John Voight's jungle madness, May 9, 2005
By 
Beau Yarbrough (Between Disneyland and Las Vegas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
There are two films here, both of them pretty awful.

Of the two, the one with all the young Hollywood types in their Gap clothes that never get dirty or even wrinkled in the Amazon is the less mildly offensive.

The other apparently stars John Voight, but what this second movie is about, it's hard to say. Voight acts a bit like he was hoping he was taking over for Marlon Brando in "Apocalypse Now," but mostly, he says all sorts of mysterious nonsense in a made-up accent and makes bug eyes.

Ironically, the titular star of the movie, the anaconda itself, is barely in this film. The filmmakers seem to have heard that the shark rarely appeared in "Jaws," but don't seem to understand that the unseen presence of the monster is necessary to build suspense. In the absence of said snake, viewers mostly get to watch Voight having a very good time in whatever movie he thought he was making.

Not worth a rental -- catch this on free TV, preferably when you've got a sense of humor and two hours to kill.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars so bad that it's good!, February 28, 2001
This review is from: Anaconda (DVD)
This movie falls into that sacred genre of movies that are unintentionally funny because the plots, acting, etc. are so ludicrous. Seeing that this awful movie managed to draw in some considerable star power (Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and "Rushmore's" Owen Wilson, for starters), this really is a gem!
If you are a bad-movie lover, then you will appreciate many of this movie's elements. First off, the slithery villian. Of course, the REAL anaconda doesn't get larger than 25-30 feet, but this movie posits that they could grow to be 50-60 feet. The snake is just too much at times: It is huge, and yet it moves like a garter snake. Watching it run down people is hilarious. It also makes a noise similar to a lobster being boiled in a pot - that high-pitched "eeeeeeiiiiuuuuuwwwww" sound.
Then there are the numerous one-liners and witty remarks from the characters. It's a never-ending stream of bad (but highly quotable) dialogue. Hey, I like movies that are described as "Oscar-worthy" or "instant classic," but it's movies like Anaconda (the dessert, if you will) that makes life all the more fun.
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Anaconda
Anaconda by Luis Llosa (DVD - 1998)
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